to be pursued in the evnt of the seccesion of Kentucky, whether Newport Barracks are to be held or abandoned, whether other points on that side are to be occupied or not, &c. It would be difficult to hold the barracks alone in the presence of an inimical population or a hostile force. We must either abandon it or occupy more ground; the latter probably preferable.
It has occurred to me that the Kentucky regiments (so called) might serve a good purpose on the other side. It is probable less excitement would be created by a movement of these Kentucky troops on the Covington Heights than by a similar disposition of the Ohio troops. I learned by telegram from extraneous sources that Western Pennsylvania and Western Virginia were to placed in my department. I shall be prepared to submit some views in regard to Western Virginia as soon as Lieutenant Poe returns. In the meantime I would suggest the importance of Cumberland, the base of the Pan Handle, and the valley of the Great Kanawha. Would it not be well to commence the organization of some means of land transportation on a reasonable scale? If the rumored concentration of the Southern and Southwestern troops is really on Lynchburg, it will no doubt be necessary for me to move up the Kanawha. If Cincinnati of Cairo be the real point (as I am more than half inclined to think), it will be still more necessary for me to advance and strike a sharp blow. It will never to remain on the defensive at this place. If at all encouraged by the General Government, the State would be glad to raise some companies of cavalry,f great benefit along certain points of the frontier. What can I ultimately expect in the way of regular cavalry and light batteries? It is important that I should know at an early day, for I wish to impress upon the general that the information in my possession tends to convice me that we may have work on our hands at no very distant day if we wait some time before assuming the offensive. I would be glad to organize one of the Randall companies as a light battery by way of a beginning. In view of the absence of supplies in the West I would urge the establishment of an advance depot at an ealry day. Lieutenant Williams is in possession of many of my views that I have not time to commit to paper a present. I hope it may be convenient to send him back at once with a reply to this, and that the general will find if possible to give me some regular offices, Lieutenant Williams among the number.
I am, colonel, very truly, yours,
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO, Numbers 1.
Cincinnati, Ohio, May 13, 1861.
By General Orders, Numbers 14, dated War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, May 3, 1861, the States of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois have been embodied in a new military department called the Department of the Ohio, the distinguished honor of commanding which has been assigned to the undersigned, who hereby assumes command.
All reports required by the Army Regulations will hereafter be forwarded to the headquarters of the Department of the Ohio.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,